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'It will pass the House’: U.S. Rep. Richard Neal says he’ll introduce resolution to stop President Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs on Mexico

June 6, 2019
In The News

SPRINGFIELD — U.S. Rep. Richard Neal pushed back Thursday on President Donald J. Trump’s proposed tariffs on Mexican imports, calling the plan an “overreach” and vowing to introduce a resolution to stop the tariffs.

“The President’s proposed tariffs would hurt American workers, businesses, and consumers," Neal said in a statement. "Commandeering U.S. trade policy to influence border security is an abuse of power. If the President does declare a national emergency and attempt to put these tariffs into place, I will introduce a resolution of disapproval to stop his overreach.”

Neal, a Springfield Democrat and chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, delivered a keynote address at the annual meeting of the Western Massachusetts Economic Development Council.

A resolution of disapproval is a way for Congress to overturn a new federal agency rule, and Neal said the move could block the tariffs. He said he is working in consultation with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.

“You will see a vote next week," Neal said, explaining that he will introduce the measure Monday. “I can say with confidence that it will pass the House.”

From there it would go to the Republican-led Senate. Neal said many of the GOP senators ran on the issue of free trade. “Here is their chance," Neal said.

Neal called the tariff a tax, and noted Mexico is now the U.S.'s biggest trading partner. “It’s really about the integration of the North American economies.”

Trump announced his plan to introduce the tariffs last month.

“On June 10th, the United States will impose a 5% Tariff on all goods coming into our Country from Mexico, until such time as illegal migrants coming through Mexico, and into our Country, STOP. The Tariff will gradually increase until the Illegal Immigration problem is remedied,” Trump wrote in a tweet on May 30, “at which time the Tariffs will be removed.”

“Conventional economics tells us that tariffs are no way to get a trade deal done," Neal said at Thursday’s event, adding that he has talked with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

“It appears the negotiations yesterday did not go well," Neal said.